Birth Is Just A Matter Of Time
On this night, three years ago, I was getting really anxious. Our OB had recently told us that it was only a matter of time before our first child would come into the world. We didn’t know if the baby was going to be a boy or a girl. We didn’t know if it was going to be healthy and happy. And we certainly didn’t know what kind of a personality to expect.
I didn’t know if I was going to have any hair left by the time she came out. It seemed like it was taking forever. I was ready. The anticipation was killing me.
The due date was the following day, but we had no reason to suspect that our baby was coming.
Emily was about as anxious as I was. After all, she’d been carrying this child for about nine months. She was ready to have it out. In fact, she said so.
So I did my first fatherly duty: I bent down, put my mouth over my wife’s belly and growled, “GET OUT!“
Emily’s water broke the next morning, February 9th, 2014.
Revisiting Your Dreams Is Just A Matter Of Time
I held my little girl Addison in my arms that afternoon. I was both ecstatic and terrified. Labor had gone well, the baby was healthy, and everyone was going to make it out of the hospital completely fine.
Here I was at 34, and I was finally a father. I never thought I’d be this old before I had my first child. I always thought that was something I’d experience in my mid-twenties. Heck, I thought I’d be married well before 30! Hey, it wasn’t for the lack of trying…
But I also thought that by the time I was 34 I’d be a successful rock artist touring the country – if not the world – with several successful albums under my belt. I had moved to Nashville eight years prior for that very reason. And though things had changed and I’d stumbled and gone on to other adventures, I was still here.
My first-born was a native Nashvillian! Ten years ago that never would have crossed my mind as a possibility.
But here she was. And here I was… still!
Clearly, I had some unfinished business to do.
So, while I kissed Addison’s forehead and promised to be the best father in the entire universe, I also promised myself that I needed to get back to what I’d come to Nashville to do in the first place. And when I made that promise, I knew then that it had been inevitable – it had merely been a matter of time.
I was going to make music again!
Getting Started Is Only A Matter Of Time
That Fall, while Addie was starting to teethe, I was gritting my teeth. Due to financial issues and the time our jobs took away from both myself and my wife, I hadn’t been able to sit down and put anything together.
The whole idea had been to get demoing, move that into proper recording and then, by Fall of 2015, have a brand-new record ready. But that wasn’t happening, and I was getting a little freaked out that it never would. Anytime I sat down to even think about what I was going to say or play, nothing would come out. And growling “Get out of my head and onto the paper” was not helping.
Meanwhile, Addie was being, quite simply, the most wonderful, most adorable, best kid on the planet. After all of our concern about whether or not we’d be good parents, or whether or not we’d be able to handle having a child in our lives, we seemed to be tackling it quite well. Addison was an easy baby. That’s not to say that we never had stress, or never ran into issues, or that she never caused us a whole lot of grief, but as far as having a first child was concerned, she made the experience fun and delightful.
And she was so damn smart. I couldn’t believe how quickly she could pick up on some things just by watching what we would do. Every day she would surprise me.
I did everything I could to “live in the now” and really experience what it was like to have this wonderful little girl in my life but, in retrospect, six months seemed to pass really quickly. Almost as if I’d wished it to, just so I could get to the point where I was starting work on my album.
Which, that September, I did. I knew I would – it was only a matter of time.
Roadblocks And Moments: A Matter Of Time
In a matter of a couple months, I had demoed about ten to twelve potential songs.
Then all of that stopped. Emily had penned her first short film, and we had gathered a group of talented actors and production folks to put it together. Since I volunteered to do the editing, all of my extra time was now taken up getting my wife’s project finished. It was a fun project, and I was happy to do it, but it also diverted me from my music course.
By the time that production – Are You Listening – was finished, Addie was celebrating her first birthday, and on the cusp of walking. I couldn’t believe a year had passed already. It seemed like it had happened overnight. Suddenly she wasn’t really a baby anymore – she was pretty much a toddler. No more tiny baby seat for the car, no more getting up several times in the middle of the night to feed her, no more sticking to just formula and milk to satisfy her hunger.
The funny thing to me about all of this was that I remember my mother telling “when you were…” stories, and it always seemed like they took place during this long, defining period of my life. She’d say “you used to do” this or that, and in my mind I pictured it like I must have done whatever thing she was talking about for quite a while. But, in truth, looking at Addie and how quickly she was growing, it became clear that these stories encapsulated mere moments. They were here, then they were gone.
For instance, when Addie experienced her first Christmas, she called a Christmas Tree a “chemistry”. This year, she called it a “Christmas Tree”. Cute little sayings like that disappear fast. It’s only a matter of time.
And so are the roadblocks that try to stop you. They are always going to come, but you have to persevere. Getting through them is only a matter of time, too.
Of course, in my case, I wasn’t through them until late 2016.
Detours Are A Matter Of Time
With Emily’s project finished I wanted to get back into working on the album. But I took a detour I wasn’t expecting.
2015 happened to be the tenth anniversary of my third album, Lemonymous. I was intending to clean up and re-release my albums but I wasn’t planning on starting that until 2016, for the fifteenth anniversary of my first record. But, knowing I’d need to build my supporter base I decided to take advantage of the milestone and clean this album up. I got overly ambitious and created a “remix” album from scratch to go along with it (Lemonymix). The crowdfunding campaign was a success (barely) and so was the experiment. But it took the whole year to complete.
Once finished with that, I was offered a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to edit a feature documentary on Kentucky Bourbon. I thought it would only take me a few months, but it ended up being a project that took me well into the Spring of 2016. And by then I had started on that afore-mentioned fifteenth anniversary of Neon Apocalypse.
The album sat.
And Addie kept growing. She was well-past the initial stages of walking and talking. Now she was watching TV, was capable of flipping through different shows on Netflix via my iPad in order to find the one she preferred, and was verbally asking for the food and drink she wanted (as opposed to simply signing for it – an adorable stage I quite miss).
We’d gone sledding, she’d joined myself and her godfather at a taproom or two, and she’d been to Ohio, New York, and places in between. She was already becoming a well-traveled little girl.
Her third Halloween (she was Wonder Woman, a “symbol of female empowerment”) came and went. So did her third Christmas (she knew who Santa was by now). She was deep into knowing her colors, letters and numbers, and was even caught on one occasion counting backwards from thirty.
And she still wasn’t even three yet.
Growing Up And Reaching Your Goals: Just A Matter Of Time
It’s amazing, as I sit here writing this, how far things have come.
This January, I finally got back to working on the album, and by now I’m deep into it. Two songs have all their instrumentals done, and I have the building blocks for a good five or six more. That’s a great way to start the year.
Addie has more personality than I think I could have ever been prepared for. I’m not that shocked – she is the product of myself and my wife. Not only has she been in preschool for nearly a year (I cried her first day – another thing that I wasn’t expecting) but she recently moved up into the Pre-Kindergarden class.
How did that happen?
It’s been happening so quickly. From birth to infant to toddler to little girl. I’ve tried to stop and take it all in – to really enjoy it and burn the memories into my brain – and I think I’ve done as well as one can. I hope I have.
But no matter how many times I stop and live in the now, no matter how many times I tell Addie to “stop growing”, it’s not going to slow the passage of time. She’s going to keep growing. This period of her life will become another period, and that period will turn into something else too. It’s fascinating to watch. It’s wonderful to be a part of. But someday she will be all grown up and living somewhere else. It’s only a matter of time.
She turns three tomorrow. And my album turns just about that. Actually, if you consider that I came up with the title for it way back in 2006, it’s 11 years old. That’s crazy. Fitting then, that I’ve always referenced it as The Art of Tactful Procrastination.
And though it’s taken a long time to even get it to where it is right now, it will be done.
Because, like growing up, finishing projects – completing your goals and realizing your dreams – is only a matter of time.